Archive for Coolest Piercings You May Have Never Heard Of

Tragus piercings are a popular type of cartilage piercing. The small, projecting part on the inner side of the ear is pierced with a stud or a ring. Many of our cartilage earrings can be worn in both the upper cartilage and the tragus. It all depends on your style and level of comfort.

Confused as to where to look for jewelry specific to your piercing? Look no further!

When in doubt, just make sure you’re looking for something that fits the gauge you were pierced at. 16-18 gauge are the average, but always check with your piercer to be sure.

Jun
05

Rook Piercings

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What is a Rook piercing?

A rook piercing, is a small piercing that is located in the small ridge of cartilage near the upper part of the ear. The area is called the inferior crus of the antihelix.

Image courtesy of The Piercing Bible by Elayne Angel

Procedure
This piercing requires a skilled piercer, as this is a very small, dense piece of tissue. The initial jewelry used is usually a ring such as a captive or BCR, or a curved barbell much like an eyebrow ring. This piercing is usually done at 18 or 16 gauge.

Healing
This piercing takes 3-9 months or longer to heal, usually about 6 in most cases though. Be sure to ask your piercer for proper cleaning and care instructions!

Everyone is generally familiar with the classic tongue piercing and lip ring, we’re going to cover a few facial and oral piercings you may not be too familiar with as well as general care and healing information for the aforementioned piercings.

Tongue Piercing

Typically this piercing is placed centrally but can be placed just about anywhere on the tongue. Two piercings placed side by side is often referred to as ‘venom bites’. A traditional tongue piercing is placed where the nerves are primarily for taste and temperature, it is more painful is be pierced towards the tip or edges. Healing time is about 4-8 weeks, during the first week there will be significant swelling and tenderness, drinking cold water especially immediately following the procedure will help with the swelling and soothe the area. You can eat normally but it is advisable to do so slowly and take small bites. Many people find smoothies, shakes, and soups are easiest to start with. Avoid chewing gum, salty, spicy, or very hot foods as these may be injurious or irritating.

The Labret Piercing

 A traditionally placed labret is centered under the lower lip, but may be placed higher, lower, in pairs or even multiples.  Usually pierced with a 16 or 14 gauge needle, a flat disk-back  stud or ring are the most common jewelry worn. Healing time is about 6-8 weeks but may take longer. Cleaning is easiest by using a sea salt soak (1/4 tsp to 8oz water) in a shot glass held flush against the face or a cotton ball/q-tip with the solution on it.

 

The Monroe Piercing

This piercing imitates a beauty mark and is placed off to one side above the upper lip. Also paired with another piercing on the opposite side which is nicknamed ‘angel bites’. Typically done at 16 or 14 gauge this piercing heals in about 2 to 3 months or longer. Aftercare is the same as the labret.

The Philtrum Piercing

Also commonly knows as the ‘medusa’ this piercing is placed center of the natural divot between the mouth and the nose. It is common that during this piercing the client’s eyes may water.  Healing time for this piercing is typically 2 to 3 months and usually at 16 or 14 gauge.

 

Cheek/ Dimple Piercings

Cheek piercings can be done in most locations on the cheek but are usually placed in the natural dimple on the client’s face and should not be placed further back than the first molars. This can cause issues with the salivary glands that are located within the cheek. This is considered one of the lesser painful facial/oral piercings, usually done with 16 to 12 gauge barbells preferably with a flat back. This piercing takes anywhere from 2-3 months or longer to heal. Cleaning can be done with the sea salt solution, many find using a small shot glass to hold over the area to be an easy way to do so.

 

The Smiley/ Scrumper and Frowny Piercings

Smiley and scrumper are both names for the piercing of the upper frenulum, which is a piece of skin that connects the center of the upper lip and gums. The frowny is a piercing of lower frenulum that connects the lower lip and gums. Performed with usually with jewelry between 16 to 18 gauge circular barbell, horseshoe, or curved barbell; this piercing heals in about 4 to 8 weeks. This piercing comes with the risk of rejection and migration as well as the wearing of the tooth enamel, all things to consider before getting this piercing.

 The Lingual Frenulum Piercing

This is a piercing of the web located underneath the tongue if the client has the substantial anatomy to accommodate the jewelry. Most often done with a small curved bar or 16 gauge ring. This piercing heals quickly and easily in about 4 to 6 weeks. This piercing has a tendency to reject but most people keep it for at least a few years. Clean the piercing by using a non-alcohol based mouthwash. Be sure to keep it free of food and debris. Avoid swimming, alcohol, and sexual contact until it’s healed.

 

Mar
30

Natori’s Double Forward Helix Piercing

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Watch as our friend Natori gets her double forward helix project by piercer James of American Skin Art in Buffalo, NY!

Money Shot at 0:20 and 0:50

What is a Helix?
The helix  is the curled outer rim of the ear, and can be pierced and most any point. Forward helix means that it is the area further most towards the front of the ear.

The Process
James begins by cleaning the area and then marking the desired placement of the jewelry. Natori checks out the placement and gives her approval. Then the clamps are applied to the first point of insertion and with a deep breath in then out, the needle is pushed through. A cork is placed on the needle’s point to prevent and injury to the piercer or the client. James follows through with the jewelry as he removes the needle and then secures the top of the jewelry. The process is repeated on the second desired point. James cleans both of the fresh piercings and the process is complete! Looks great Natori!
Healing
Helix piercings take anywhere from 3 to 9 months or longer to heal and are usually pierced in the range of 18 to 14 gauge. The initial jewelry is a ring style or post depending on placement and anatomy.
Mar
12

Maggie’s Lower Back Dermal Piercing

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Come see Maggie get her lower back dermals done!

What is a Dermal?

A dermal is a piece of jewelry that sits beneath the skin and has a decorative top that sits on the surface. Also knows under the term surface piercing, dermals are done using a dermal punch. The dermal punch is a hollow needle with an angled end that is used to remove a section of the skin to make way for the dermal anchor. The dermal anchor itself has flat base or ‘foot’ with holes in it which allow the flesh to grow through as it heals. This helps keep the jewelry in place and prevents it easily being ripped out. The exposed end has threading and the tops can be interchanged.

 The Process

Our friend James begins by cleaning the area and then marking and measuring for the placement of the dermals.  He then pushes the dermal punch through the skin, then slides the anchor into place and secures the top. He finishes by cleaning up the area and the end result is two lovely gems and one happy customer.

 

Healing
Caring for dermals requires keeping them dry and clean. Full healing takes about 2-3 months.
Mar
05

Beautiful Bindi

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There are very few styles that can stand the test of time. Fashion trends are meant to have a shelf-life, to develop, bloom, and then fade into memory. However, there are certain forms of decoration that transcend this definition and become something more than beauty enhancement. This is what it means to be iconic.

The bindi is one of those kinds of icons.

Bindis are a traditional sign of faith and devotion to the Hindu religion and accounts of it’s significance can be found in texts dating back thousands of years and have become a staple in Indian fashion.

The bindi symbolizes so much more than a religious devotion: it is a symbol of Indian identity and a culturally specific fashion accessory. Online debates about who should, and should not, wear a bindi are becoming more prevalent as the appeal of incorporating more “global” accessories into an everyday look become more common.

With the ever evolving history of body modification and piercing, the vertical bridge piercing has been described by piercing experts as an effective way to “customize the way you face the world” (The Piercing Bible). This kind of piercing should not be done casually; typical gauges for a bindi piercing are 16 or 14 gauge curved barbells which can extend the healing time of the piercing. Also, with the thickness of the piercing, minor but visible scarring can occur if the time comes for the piercing to be abandoned.

vertical bridge piercing

Wherever you are in the world, whatever your fashion taste, remember that only the best accessories can be considered iconic. Pierce or place a bindi on your forehead because it belongs to all of us.

Feb
25

Skin Divers Vs Dermal Anchors

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What is a Skin Diver?

A skin diver is a small piece of jewelry that is implanted partially under the skin. The base which is the part that lies under the skin’s surface has a pointed end. To insert them the piercer must use a biopsy punch to create a hole for the jewelry to sit inside. The ends which are exposed are non-interchangeable, so whichever color or style of jewelry you pick would not be able to be changed once  the jewelry is placed. The jewelry can be removed by the piercer should you decide you no longer want this piercing.

 

What is a Dermal Anchor?

Also referred to as a Microdermal, a dermal anchor has flat base or ‘foot’ with holes in it which allow the flesh to grow through as it heals. This helps keep the jewelry in place and prevents it easily being ripped out. The exposed end has threading and the tops can be interchanged with many colors and styles available. The method of placing this piercing involves the piercer using a dermal punch, which is a hollow needle with a slanted end. The piece of jewelry is then inserted into the pocket created by the dermal punch. This jewelry can also be removed by your piercer when you no longer want it.

The Decision:

Only you and your piercer can decide what’s best for you, but as a general rule Dermal Anchors or Microdermals are made of better quality metals and are less likely to be accidentally ripped out or reject. Still unsure? Check out AJ get her Dermal Anchors:

valley, or sacral piercing

The “valley piercing” is a surface piercing of the lower back that lies right above, or sometimes within, the cleft of the buttocks.  This funny and interesting contemporary piercing has also been known by many other names, including “butt crack piercing,” “sacral piercing,” and “coccyx piercing.”

Like most surface piercings, the valley piercing can be performed with either a single hollow piercing needle, two hollow needles, or the punch and taper technique, depending upon the preference of the client and the piercer.  Due to the area of the body in which it resides, this type of piercing can be difficult both to clean and to completely heal, and because of constant movement there’s a higher rate of rejection or migration than average.

 coccyx surface piercing

Valley piercings are worn almost exclusively with surface bars, though flexible PTFE or tygon bars have been used from time to time.  They can be pierced both vertically and horizontally, and sometimes will sit slightly higher up on the back.  As an alternative to the traditional surface piercing, some choose to get dermal piercings in the area instead.  Those who have tattoos across the lower back may also use valley piercings or valley dermals strategically to accent their body art.

 fun dermal body jewelry

Although valley piercings have been around since at least 2007, they remain rare to this day in both the US and UK.  For a long time these piercings were called by interesting alternate names by both the persons who wore them and the artists who pierced them, causing them further anonymity.  Many piercers throughout the western world have yet to even perform one, making them some of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

transverse ear lobe piercing

Tired of the same old ear piercings? If you are looking to get a less common ear piercing that looks cool and has minimal pain then this might be the one for you. A transverse, or horizontal, lobe piercing is an ear piercing that is done the long way on the earlobe instead of piercing from front to back.  The length of the piercing is parallel to the sagittal plane, or vertical plane, of the lobe. The transverse piercing does not pierce the cartilage, but goes only through the skin of the ear lobe. The jewelry sits as horizontal as the anatomy will allow. When wearing a barbell, one ball emerges on each end and sits on the ear with no shaft exposed.

The transverse lobe piercing is done most often as a freehand piercing, meaning no clamps or forceps are utilized, due to the type and amount of tissue. A receiving tube is often used. The exact piercing spots are marked then a 14 or 16 gauge hollow needle is inserted from the outside edge of the lobe to the medial edge of the ear lobe. Then, the piercing jewelry is inserted and fixed into the ear. Much of the technique involved with this piercing depends on the anatomy of your ear and whether your lobes are attached or not. Some piercers may use a curved needle on attached earlobes while a straight needle would generally be used on earlobes that are unattached.

attached and detached ear lobes

The look of the piercing makes it seem as though there would be prolonged agony as the needle passes through that much flesh. However, most people feel less pain when getting a transverse lobe piercing than with a standard earlobe piercing. The inside of the earlobe consists of mostly fatty tissue and there are not many nerves in the path of the needle. It’s just slightly uncomfortable.

It is possible to stretch a healed transverse piercing. However, the stretching process must be done at a very slow rate due to the fact that there is much less tissue around the area of the piercing than with most other stretchable piercings. A transverse lobe piercing can also be done though earlobes that are already stretched. Most people who get their transverse done when they already have stretched lobes will have the piercer do it through flexible, thin, silicone tunnels. You can also get custom tunnel plugs made that have holes drilled into them to accommodate such a piercing. The second option looks amazing, but it is expensive and would be somewhat difficult to change on your own. Labret studs can also be used.

horizontal ear lobe piercing

Healing a transverse lobe piercing can be a fairly worry free process. Normally, most ear lobe piercings are very quick to heal, but transverse lobes often take longer to heal due to the longer fistula. Healing time can take around two to ten months. Just as with any new piercing, it is extremely important to follow your professional piercer’s aftercare regiment and guidelines. Abscesses are the most common problem with this particular piercing. Salt soaks are very important to the healing of the piercing because they help with drainage and abscess prevention. Avoidance of swimming and contact with makeup, hair products, or lotion are often recommended, and extra care should be taken when brushing hair or undressing.  Cell phone and head phone use on the side of the fresh piercing should be limited, and sleeping on a fresh piercing is not recommended. And as always, wash your hands before touching your piercings to avoid infections even after they are healed.

There is a greater portion of the barbell inside the ear so it is also important to wear jewelry that you are not sensitive too. Flexible PTFE or bioplast barbells and rings are a good option for this piercing. A straight barbell is most commonly worn with non attached earlobes and a curved barbell is generally used with attached lobes. A BCR or circular barbell of proper diameter must be used; this however will be less comfortable on someone with unattached ear lobes. There is also a risk of migration with this piercing, and jewelry that is too heavy is most often the cause. If you have questions about your jewelry, your piercer is a wonderful resource.

A “smiley” is a piercing of the thin strip of flesh that attaches the center of the upper lip to the gum plate.  This piece of flesh is called the upper lip frenulum, and the piercing itself is consequentially also known as “lip frenulum piercing” or alternatively “scrumper piercing.”

 scrumper upper lip frenulum piercing

Like most oral piercings, the smiley is performed with a hollow needle after the inside of the mouth has been properly disinfected.  For this type of piercing especially, using a professional piercer is essential to prevent injury to the soft tissues of the lip or gums.  Aftercare is much the same as that of tongue and lip piercings and will often include rinses with special mouthwash or sea salt solution.  Due to its placement in a very high-motion area, this particular piercing may require extra vigilance to lower the risk of migration or rejection.

For the most part, smiley piercings will be worn with circular barbells (either BCRs or horseshoes), but occasionally a small curved barbell can be seen.  Of course, the wearer may have to pull back their upper lip for you to know it’s there at all, a definite plus for those who enjoy having unnoticeable or “secret” piercings.

 smiley piercing horseshoe rings

The smiley has become more popular in recent years, but as a fairly modern piercing (first noticed in the 1990s after publication in a magazine) there are some areas where lip frenulum piercing is virtually unknown, or at least very rare.  It also falls under a variety of names (scrumper, rooster, glicker) depending on locale, making it one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.